Well, I hope your fall fishing season went better than mine. I put 11 days of drum fishing over the course of three tips grinding on average 14 hours a day and didn't manage a single citation drum. It is my first drumless season since 2011.
When red drum were not factored, the fishing was solid. My last trip was a three day run last Wednesday through Thursday. If you enjoyed light tackle bluefish, you could catch a bluefish every couple of casts all day every day. Gotcha plugs produced the best numbers primarily because the hook up ratio was highest. My buddy and I limited out (15 per person) each before daylight and the blues continued to bite all day. I used the bluefish heads as baits because spot were impossible to come by.
I spent most of the trip using a double trout jig, but instead of using the TWs B&T jig bodies, I replaced them with gold flake Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ in an effort to get a keeper trout. I probably caught 60 trout over the course of three days by slowing down and dragging the bait underneath the bluefish. The blues were still thick on the ZMan, and unlike my Shad Assassins (which the tail would get bitten off on the first class), the ZMan's held together. I only went through six ZMan's the whole trip. They made a believer out of me.
Drum fishing was rough. One morning, I fought six carhood rays over a five hour period. It was agonizing. There were some other garbage on day 1 and day 3 (mostly biter and sand tiger sharks.) One lucky angler managed a skinny, 7 foot long tiger shark. I have only seen two before in 20 years of pier fishing. Here is video footage.
The drum run just never happened for the northern OBX. Boat anglers in the Bay wore them out for months and the just would not leave. The southern OBX piers and Hatteras Beaches got local drum coming out of the Pamlico. We were in the dead zone, with fish passing well off the beach when they trickled down. I have never seen anything like it. Even in years where I struck out, other folks were catching. I saw three drum landed all year. I don't get it.
Now we are in November. Hopefully I can joing IAmFish down in the Bay. I also will probably make a few runs over to Cambridge MD to catch schoolies off the Burton Pier.
What else is cooking?